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6N Rugby - Italy v England

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 09:50

England team to face Italy - Sunday

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 28 caps)
2 Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 67 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 57 caps)
4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 43 caps)
5 George Kruis (Saracens, 11 caps)
6 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 44 caps)
7 James Haskell (Wasps, 63 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens, 22 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps)
10 George Ford (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
11 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 36 caps)
13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 16 caps)
15 Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 44 caps)

Replacements
16 Jamie George (Saracens, 4 caps)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 38 caps)
18 Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 29 caps)
20 Maro Itoje (Saracens, uncapped)
21 Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 1 cap)
22 Danny Care (Harlequins, 54 caps)
23 Alex Goode (Saracens, 19 caps)


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 11:20; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 09:53

Clifford and Haskell (6) and Ford and Farrell to answer those questions. I'd like to see Daly and Itoje on the bench though and get some game time with George if it's going well.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:05

Has Itoje's chances actually been hindered by Launchbury's lacklustre performance? Lawes had a good run out and added real impetus to the side and surely will be included again, but I cannot see Launchbury missing out entirely.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:07

Launchbury was ill though...had the S**ts . That's why he was taken off.

Should be back firing on Saturday.

Also Robshaw has been class all season...do we discard him so readily after one lethargic display?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:11

Not to be discarded but Haskell deserves to stay and Clifford needs the start.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:13

I cannot be the only one who thought Launchbury looked fat?


Something has to happen with the back row. I know Jones is pinning his hopes on Underhill, but we need to have more than one rabbit to pull out of the hat. I would like us to start with Clifford AND Kvesic, but know that we are far more likely to go with the same trio.

Did Brookes show enough fitness against Quins to depose Hill from the bench and put real pressure on Cole?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:16

Lets see if Haskell can show some consistency of performances. We want to see a similar performance against Italy. Huge in defence and physical in all aspects oh his game.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:18

Lt, for whatever reason Kvesic just doesn't seem rated.

By the new management team and by the previous one. I wonder what the issue is as he looks the part to me!

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Post by king_carlos Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:23

LondonTiger wrote:I cannot be the only one who thought Launchbury looked fat?

+ 1 there LT. When he walked off after being subbed I noticed it especially. Rumour has it he spent much of the second half in the gents though so perhaps he was just trying desperately to hold something in... Laugh

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:25

Yeah he's probably lost 6lbs.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:27

Jones has categorically stated that Daly and Itoje will feature during the tournament so I can only assume this is the best game to bring them in. After this it's visits to Twickenham from Wales and Ireland, followed by France away.

Lawes showing up well and Launchbury struggling a bit does complicate things though. Personally I'd like to see Jones make the tough call in the boiler room and back row by leaving out one of Lawes/Launchbury and Robshaw/Haskell to try out Itoje and a better balanced back row.

Mako, Hartley, Cole, Launchbury/Lawes, Kruis, Haskell/Robshaw, Kvesic, Vunipola
Care, Farrell, Nowell, Devoto, Joseph, Watson, Brown

Replacements: George, Marler, Hill/Brookes, Itoje, Clifford, Youngs, Ford, Daly

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Post by beshocked Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:33

I think Ksevic's issue might be the perception that he has the lack of physicality and power.

Wouldn't surprise me if he's the lightest forward in the squad.

If you look at Eddie Jones squad you can see he left out the likes of Wood,Parling and T.Youngs who aren't perceived as particularly powerful, in my opinion anyhow.

In his team vs Scotland it's notable the amount of grunt EJ had in the pack.

When you favour Haskell over Ksevic it shows the direction you moving in!


king carlos wouldn't mind seeing that team.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:36

Did Clifford show enough when he came to justify a start?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:43

If he's the chosen 7 he needs to get more game time full stop.

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Post by Hoonercat Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:57

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Did Clifford show enough when he came to justify a start?

For me he looked unsure of what was expected of him, though completely understandable. I wouldn't want to see him start against Italy but given more time off the bench if things are going well against Italy.

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Post by maestegmafia Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:01

king_carlos wrote:Jones has categorically stated that Daly and Itoje will feature during the tournament so I can only assume this is the best game to bring them in. After this it's visits to Twickenham from Wales and Ireland, followed by France away.

Lawes showing up well and Launchbury struggling a bit does complicate things though. Personally I'd like to see Jones make the tough call in the boiler room and back row by leaving out one of Lawes/Launchbury and Robshaw/Haskell to try out Itoje and a better balanced back row.

Mako, Hartley, Cole, Launchbury/Lawes, Kruis, Haskell/Robshaw, Kvesic, Vunipola
Care, Farrell, Nowell, Devoto, Joseph, Watson, Brown

Replacements: George, Marler, Hill/Brookes, Itoje, Clifford, Youngs, Ford, Daly

Farrell over Ford...?

Farrell missed tackles, missed kicks and could have been carded. I don't think he impressed no matter that he was out of his preferred position, he has played 12 plenty of times for club and country.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:03

Could have been carded for what? Pushing Laidlaw?

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Post by king_carlos Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:08

Farrell didn't have his best game against Scotland, nor did Ford though.

For Sarries Farrell has been the form 10 in Europe this season - although Carter has been impressive since arriving at Racing. Ford on the other hand has looked as average for most of the season as he did at the weekend.

Farrell has earnt the chance to take control of the 10 shirt again.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:10

Yeah I think id bench Ford and move Farrell to 10.

Give Hill or Devoto a run out.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:15

SH and FH, we look destined to forever flit between players. Hope Jones backs Care and Ford as his chosen 2 and sticks with it for a while.

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Post by beshocked Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:33

I have said many times that I don't think Farrell is suited to 12. He can cover there adequately but I think he's a much better 10.

Read Tindall's article on BBC. Shows you how ineffectual Farrell was in attack at 12.

no 7 & 1/2 why on earth keep an out of form Ford at 10? If it's broken then fix it.

Care should be given a 2nd chance with Farrell at 10.

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Post by bluestonevedder Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:45

I'd love to see Kvesic start, but it won't happen I'm sure.

His performance on Friday for the Cherries was superb, and the game ended with him turning the ball over as Bath threatened the try line.

I really don't think he lacks physicality or power. He's a bit of a unit. Certainly no lighter than Clifford.

I'd drop Farrell to the bench ans bring in Devoto or Hill. Ford was very meh, but I thought his kicking from hand was ok. He just totally lacked any threat with ball in hand, which is unusual for him. Still, I don't exactly think the game plan as designed around allowing him to flourish.

Launchbury was off, but can't blame him if he'd been ill all Friday. Got to question why he was allowed or at least deemed fit enough to play? Usually takes a few days to feel yourself again. He also did look very rotund. I think he'd lost some weight.

Haskell impressed me. Usually I'm not a huge fan because he doesn't seem to impose himself as much as he could. He proved me wrong on Saturday and put in some monstrous hits behind the gainline. His issue is consistency. I remember against Wales last year he was quality, but then declined the rest of the tournament. He's set the bar for his performances now, and needs to remain or improve. Robshaw was quiet, but did his job. Hardie and Barclay were nullified.

Nowell was excellent. I love him as a player. So industrious, so aggressive, so dependable.

Would have liked to see Joseph get more of the ball, but again, the gameplan was no designed around the backs.

Marler needs to sort his game out. Better in the scrum that during his dreadful world cup, but I can't help but think he lacks something on the international stage.

Cole was alright. Not sure I totally agree with EJ's evaluation of his performance being a hark back to his 'world best' days, but it was an improvement. Good over the ball, but needs to give less penalties away!

Kruis was outstanding. Lawes ok from the bench.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:46

Ultimately if Jones feels that Ford is more suited to the style he wants he needs to back him over a period of time. Constantly swapping them helps neither.

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Post by beshocked Mon 08 Feb 2016, 12:07

bluestonevedder according to wiki he's a stone lighter than Clifford. Now perhaps wiki isn't that accurate but surely there is some difference. Looked at club website- 6,2 16s 7 compared to 6,3 17st 4.

Of course weight doesn't necessary equal power but still I think being heavier can help with the physical side.

No 7 & 1/2 well I guess we don't know what style EJ wants but going by his coaches you would think it might be Saracens. Kind of helps that that the Sarries contingent as a whole are in good form too and having an influence on the attack.

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Post by Tiger/Chief Mon 08 Feb 2016, 12:26

[quote="Of course weight doesn't necessary equal power but still I think being heavier can help with the physical side.[/quote]

Which is why 'id pick Dave Ewers, nearly 21 stone and carries hard and make yards for Exeter whoever he plays against! Just a shame his injury came at the wrong time!

I'd actually play him with Haskell/Robshaw and Vunipola as I think that Billy needs to share the carrying responsibilities around a bit. Unfortunatly his injury means he's likely to only be seen in a England shirt during the summer tour when of course Nathan Hughes comes in

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 08 Feb 2016, 12:35

The thing with Clifford is he's not this breakdown specialist we all want. I really don't get why we're so keen to see come into the side at 7. He's a real prospect but at 6 imo.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 12:45

beshocked wrote:bluestonevedder according to wiki he's a stone lighter than Clifford. Now perhaps wiki isn't that accurate but surely there is some difference. Looked at club website- 6,2 16s 7 compared to 6,3 17st 4.

Of course weight doesn't necessary equal power but still I think being heavier can help with the physical side.

No 7 & 1/2 well I guess we don't know what style EJ wants but going by his coaches you would think it might be Saracens. Kind of helps that that the Sarries contingent as a whole are in good form too and having an influence on the attack.

And if that's the case give the shirt to Farrell and let him have it for an extended period. I be happy with a Saracens plus style gameplan, don't think we need to rely so much on the pack.

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Post by englandglory4ever Mon 08 Feb 2016, 12:47

Sgt_Pooly wrote:The thing with Clifford is he's not this breakdown specialist we all want. I really don't get why we're so keen to see come into the side at 7. He's a real prospect but at 6 imo.

Agreed. I've seen absolutely nothing to suggest that Clifford is the fetcher that everyone craves. (and I'm a Quins fan). He is a good 6 and can even do a job a 8. Of course he can play 7 but he's no out an out fetcher.

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Post by nlpnlp Mon 08 Feb 2016, 12:48

I think the performance overall was pretty uninspiring, but they got the win. As Italy showed against France, if you let them get into an arm wrestle and allow them to stay in the game, then they can be very awkward opponents. So I don't think there will be too much if any experimentation. As disappointed as I was with Ford, I agree that Jones needs to give him or Farrell a run at 10. I think Farrell gets some plus points for playing out of position, but the petulant shove on Laidlaw could have got him a yellow card - he will be a marked man with referees sooner or later and even though it wasn't much, it gives them an excuse to card him (as happened to Ben Youngs against Ireland a few years back).

I would have Kvesic at 7, but the England coaches don't seem to fancy him and I don't think starting Clifford in Italy against the likes of Parisse is a good idea. So I think we will see the same team, with more liberal use of the substitutes if the game is going well. It may also be a final chance for one or two players who I thought had disappointing games against Scotland to really cement their place or face the chop - Robshaw largely anonymous, Care generally kicking too far to allow an effective kick chase, Ford little running threat, Farrell generally average.

And we desperately need to find a loosehead who doesn't collapse/let his hips go out every scrum as soon as any pressure comes on. I thought we were lucky to not be penalised more often.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 12:56

nlpnlp wrote:I think the performance overall was pretty uninspiring, but they got the win.  As Italy showed against France, if you let them get into an arm wrestle and allow them to stay in the game, then they can be very awkward opponents.  So I don't think there will be too much if any experimentation.  As disappointed as I was with Ford, I agree that Jones needs to give him or Farrell a run at 10.  I think Farrell gets some plus points for playing out of position, but the petulant shove on Laidlaw could have got him a yellow card - he will be a marked man with referees sooner or later and even though it wasn't  much, it gives them an excuse to card him (as happened to Ben Youngs against Ireland a few years back).

I would have Kvesic at 7, but the England coaches don't seem to fancy him and I don't think starting Clifford in Italy against the likes of Parisse is a good idea.  So I think we will see the same team, with more liberal use of the substitutes if the game is going well.  It may also be a final chance for one or two players who I thought had disappointing games against Scotland to really cement their place or face the chop - Robshaw largely anonymous, Care generally kicking too far to allow an effective kick chase, Ford little running threat, Farrell generally average.  

And we desperately need to find a loosehead who doesn't collapse/let his hips go out every scrum as soon as any pressure comes on.  I thought we were lucky to not be penalised more often.

Maybe he was just doing the famous "unseen" work whilst Haskell did the flashy big hits and carriers Wink

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 08 Feb 2016, 13:01

And clear outs, and physicality.

Haskell impressed, but again he's not future, how long do we stick with him?

Robshaw is a real honest pro but he's going to have to be moved on sooner or later, he's just average at this level. I really wish he brought more but I can't see a future for him in an England jersey.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 13:01

I do generally think Haskell had a good game but I think there is something to be said for a scrum cap or a mop of distinguishable hair for adding a few points to your marks out of 10.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 13:08

IF Haskell shows consistency, then id move him to 6. Hes the ideal 6. BUT I also like Ewers...hes another bruiser who would aid Billy in the carrying stakes.

The we have Hughes coming through in the summer.

So 6 should be
Robshaw v Haskell v Ewers v Hughes

Can someone tell me what these guys don't see in Kvesic? Surely it cant be what Beshocked said...size / weight??? We're back to the Neil back scenario if that's the case.

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 08 Feb 2016, 13:10

Italy gave France and in my opinion every other team a massive scare on Saturday. France are maybe a new team under a new coach but Italy had some very young uncapped players in their team and very nearly pulled of a big scalp.


England on the other hand did enough to win against Scotland but in all honesty did not set the world a light.

Eddie Jones want's England to go out and give the Italians a good smacking on Sunday. But if that is too happen then England will have to up their game not only in defence but also in attack.

England have never lost to Italy in the 6ns. But the way Italy played on Saturday that could all change on Sunday if England try and take Italy for granted.

I expect England too win. But also expect Italy to make very hard for them like they did against France.

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Post by englandglory4ever Mon 08 Feb 2016, 13:11

Sgt_Pooly wrote:And clear outs, and physicality.

Haskell impressed, but again he's not future, how long do we stick with him?

Robshaw is a real honest pro but he's going to have to be moved on sooner or later, he's just average at this level. I really wish he brought more but I can't see a future for him in an England jersey.

I'd stick with Haskell as long as he plays like he did against Scotland. Who cares about age? End of.

I have to agree about Robshaw. Never really seen him do a lot for the last couple of seasons. He doesn't have any X Factor, no differential, no stardust. Just a plodder.

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Post by Hoonercat Mon 08 Feb 2016, 13:49

englandglory4ever wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:And clear outs, and physicality.

Haskell impressed, but again he's not future, how long do we stick with him?

Robshaw is a real honest pro but he's going to have to be moved on sooner or later, he's just average at this level. I really wish he brought more but I can't see a future for him in an England jersey.

I'd stick with Haskell as long as he plays like he did against Scotland. Who cares about age? End of.

I have to agree about Robshaw. Never really seen him do a lot for the last couple of seasons. He doesn't have any X Factor, no differential, no stardust. Just a plodder.

Robshaw does seem to lack carrying ability, but he doesn't get to run from deep as often as Billy V does due to being involved in the 'dirty work' more. He's pretty much static when he receives ball a lot of the time. Having said that I'm still not convinced by his carrying at international level.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 08 Feb 2016, 13:53

Robshaw can tackle and has a high work rate, these things are a given at Int level.

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Post by little_badger Mon 08 Feb 2016, 14:04

GeordieFalcon wrote:Launchbury was ill though...had the S**ts . That's why he was taken off.

Should be back firing on Saturday.

Very Happy Oh that made me chuckle......

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 14:07

I think the problem is, he WAS backfiring on Saturday Wink

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 08 Feb 2016, 14:18

LondonTiger wrote:I cannot be the only one who thought Launchbury looked fat?


Something has to happen with the back row. I know Jones is pinning his hopes on Underhill, but we need to have more than one rabbit to pull out of the hat. I would like us to start with Clifford AND Kvesic, but know that we are far more likely to go with the same trio.

Did Brookes show enough fitness against Quins to depose Hill from the bench and put real pressure on Cole?

Has Jones said he is looking at Underhill?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 08 Feb 2016, 14:34

propdavid_london wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I cannot be the only one who thought Launchbury looked fat?


Something has to happen with the back row. I know Jones is pinning his hopes on Underhill, but we need to have more than one rabbit to pull out of the hat. I would like us to start with Clifford AND Kvesic, but know that we are far more likely to go with the same trio.

Did Brookes show enough fitness against Quins to depose Hill from the bench and put real pressure on Cole?

Has Jones said he is looking at Underhill?  

Taken from this report in the Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/international/england-six-nations-squad-tom-youngs-the-big-surprise-as-eddie-jones-culls-world-cup-flops-a6810996.html):

If there are three men auditioning for the open-side role in Edinburgh – the long-serving James Haskell, one of only two thirtysomethings in a very young squad, is probably just ahead of Clifford and the hard-working Gloucester groundhog Matt Kvesic – the hunt is on for a long-term solution.

Jones confirmed that Sam Underhill, the 19-year-old Gloucester product playing the house down in Wales with Ospreys, was at the top of the “work in progress” list.

so an inference rather than a direct quote.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 14:47

I haven't seen him play so cant comment, but I have heard peoples views that he is more of a 6.5. Is that an accurate report or wrong.

I say again....WHAT IS WRONG WITH KVESIC????

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 08 Feb 2016, 14:48

Thanks LT - I had thought Underhill was more of a 6! Sure he played there the last game I saw for Ospreys! Maybe the Exeter game.
Nice to know that EJ has that kind of long term 'work in progress' list of guys that arent yet on that finge international level.
The ones that are breaking into regular prem level rugby and showing their worth.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 14:58

propdavid_london wrote:Thanks LT - I had thought Underhill was more of a 6! Sure he played there the last game I saw for Ospreys! Maybe the Exeter game.  
Nice to know that EJ has that kind of long term 'work in progress' list of guys that arent yet on that finge international level.  
The ones that are breaking into regular prem level rugby and showing their worth.

I agree...however that falls down with .......Kvesic.

He's their talisman every match. He works his socks off, tackles relentlessly and is the turnover maestro.

Is he destined to be another Andy Hazel...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 15:02

It's the same story though, Jones just prefers Clifford. There's always the next guy/the other guy we could develop but we need to move away from chopping and changing as we never gte the best out of anyone.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 15:08

But Clifford isn't the type of player that Jones is talking about when he mentions a 7.

All I can think of is that he wants more physical players who are dynamic at the breakdown area. Ie Physically smashing players out the way in attack, and again physically smashing players in defence.

Maybe he just doesn't see Kvesic as able to do that but thinks Clifford is more able to do that as well as what he brings offensively with his running and handling ability.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 08 Feb 2016, 15:17

Perhaps he isn't but then again he said Scotland were favourites, then weren't then expected to beat them. I don't believe he releases to many of his actual thoughts to the press!

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 08 Feb 2016, 15:27

There has to be something! Jones has said that he has spoken to all players and told them what they need to do to get picked in his squad/team.
If they arent picked then they arent good enough.......
I agree with others on here that Clifford isnt the fetcher that we would like to see - personally I would rather see Clifford as a 6 or 8.

On to Kvesic....He is a traditional 7. I agree that he has made some good turnovers. But I dont think he has ever imposed himself on a game the way that you would expect a WC 7 to. Last weeks game against Bath, I can think of perhaps 3 turnovers ( am sure that there are many more before the stats get thrown in my face). A Hooper or Pockock would be looking to steal 6-7 per game perhaps.

My point being, Kvesic isnt a world class 7 yet (thats not to say that he wont be). But when you have others in the pack that can make 2-3 turnovers in a game (Cole, Mako V, Launchbury, Robshaw, Haskell) then that adds up.
There is the argument that he needs game time and experience of the international stage.....but all Jones wants to do at the moment is win and build team confidence.

Or perhaps Jones sees the long term replacement of Robshaw and Haskell as more important than blooding an out and out 7!

I am trying to play devils advocate here - just trying to reason the possible thinking behind Kvesics non selection and Cliffords apparent apeal.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 08 Feb 2016, 15:42

I can see Kvesic's issues being; he's not particularly physical and his technique at the breakdown is questionable. These two things seem to be against the Jones ethos.

I doubt Underhill will be in direct competition with Clifford, it'll be more as a combo I think.

Maybe Jones just sees something in Underhill that we don't have.


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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 15:56

Just to be clear I still Clifford can be a top class player...

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